Molecular Relations at Northumbria Fine Art Project Week

Last week I ran a workshop with fine art students as part of Northumbria University's Project Week: Ecologies of Togetherness where we explored the molecular relations of the body through guided meditation, sound recording and use of the cut-up technique. The workshop tested out ideas for a developing work in which I aim to begin a series of conversations with molecular bodies that explore our relationship to the cellular material that is commonly used as resource in the context of scientific research.

After an introduction to nonhuman and posthuman art practices that relate to the molecular and cellular body, we began with a guided meditation that led us into the body to focus on the molecular material therein, followed by making both audio recordings that focus on sounds from within the body and finally, an exercise that uses Gysin and Burrough's cut-up technique to create new texts from existing material: we used extracts from Jane Bennett's Vibrant Matter, which we inserted within Watson and Crick's 1953 paper on the discovery of DNA (and next time we'll also be splicing in a paper by Rosalind Franklin). We created the texts as dynamical visual works and read them aloud as a group.

The recordings will form part of a collection that explores our relations to the molecular body and that can be related directly to laboratory organisms (physically relating to the body of the organism through vibration) that I grow and maintain as part of my ongoing research.